Birth Control Behavioral Methods (cont.)
Douching is a method of rinsing out the vagina. Women use water or vinegar or solutions purchased at a drug store and spray these solutions into the vagina with a bottle or tubing. It has long been thought that women need to clean their vaginas and reduce odor. Some women douche after their menstrual periods or after sex to avoid getting an STD. Some think douching after sex will prevent pregnancy.
- Douching is not recommended. Douching changes the delicate chemical balance in the vagina and may allow an infection to grow or spread an infection into other pelvic organs such as the uterus. This method does not protect against STDs. It may actually increase the chance of developing pelvic inflammatory disease and transmitting sexually transmitted diseases.
- Douching after sex does not prevent pregnancy. In fact, the practice can increase a woman’s chance for developing an ectopic pregnancy, a serious condition that can be life threatening, by causing an infection in the reproductive organs.
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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